Broad and balanced curriculum in Wales

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation seeking views on plans to ensure all children have access to the full curriculum, including Religious Education and Relationships and Sexuality Education.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams has said that she is ‘minded to ensure all children and young people are required to study RE and RSE in the new curriculum’ as opposed to the current practice where parents can prevent their children from attending RE and RSE lessons. In doing so, children can be provided with ‘access to information that keeps them safe from harm and allows them to navigate the world in which we live’.

As such, the Welsh Government has now launched an eight-week consultation on the implications of the decision in schools to gather a broad range of views before taking a final decision, with feedback desired from parents, learners and interested groups across Wales.

The government is also consulting on a name change for RE, proposing the new name ‘Religions and Worldviews’ to better reflect teaching practice within the new curriculum, taking into account ‘a range of religious and philosophical beliefs, as well as other beliefs and world views’

Williams said: “Our vision is for an inclusive education system where all learners can participate in, benefit from and enjoy learning across all subjects. Our responsibility as a government is to ensure all young people access a full curriculum that provides them with knowledge and skills.

“I am minded to ensure all pupils study RE and RSE in the new curriculum, just as they will study science, maths and languages. It has always been an anomaly that children could be prevented from attending certain subjects. This consultation seeks views on the practical implications of dealing with this anomaly. Understanding their own rights and the rights of others is important to the fulfilment of the purposes of the new curriculum.”

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